Maingear F131 hands-on
“Maingear’s F131 Apex is available in a liquid-cooled tower that can flip heads”
Eye-catching liquid cooling
Modern, svelte case
Nice customized case
Video card is likely to be annoying to interchange
PC avid gamers like to indicate off. That’s why multicolored LEDs, tempered glass home windows, and full-loop liquid coolers exist. None of that’s technically required to get pleasure from video games, simply as 21-inch chrome rims and a physique package aren’t technically required to motor down the freeway. That’s lacking the purpose. Amongst followers, kind itself turns into the perform, proving to all of the world how a lot every rig’s proprietor loves PC and gaming.
That’s why the F131 is bound to show heads. I noticed its press launch, studying the lengthy record of predictably unimaginable specs — the most recent Intel or AMD processors, as much as twin Nvidia Titan Xp graphics, and so forth. I raised an eyebrow in curiosity. Then I noticed it in individual, and I used to be floored.
Matt Smith/Digital Developments
Matt Smith/Digital Developments
The very first thing I seen was the F131’s Apex liquid cooling resolution. It consists of all the same old pipes, pumps, and radiators, however throws in a large, clear reservoir that’s as tall because the PC, and about half a foot broad. Backlit and crammed with numerous dyed liquids – patrons can customise these – it regarded beautiful. Full-loop liquid cooling is at all times sensible, however Maingear’s reservoir steals the present. It’s the form of factor solely a severe boutique builder can supply.
That’s not the one approach you may trick out your rig. Maingear additionally got here able to tout its customized, automotive-quality paint. Such extravagance isn’t uncommon for a customized gaming rig, however the element Maingear affords is particular. This remedy, referred to as Marc II, allows you to choose no matter brand, design, or art work you’d like, and have it utilized as paint to your pc.
The corporate had a aspect panel accomplished up with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds artwork on the present, and I used to be giddy. I’ve seen loads of customized paint earlier than, however the high quality element displayed by the Marc II paint couldn’t be ignored. I wished to sneak the panel residence, nevertheless it sadly wouldn’t slot in my bag.
I must also be aware the F131 is a totally customized chassis. Origin additionally debuted a brand new customized chassis at CES 2018 with its revised Millennium, and Digital Storm confirmed off its Spark. Admittedly, I just like the Millennium greatest, however the F131 delivers related in a svelte design, and Maingear’s liquid cooling undeniably appears to be like betters.
Whether or not it’s simpler to service is debatable. The F131 has a sensible, clear chassis that, regardless of its skinny dimension, does little to hinder the internals. The complete-liquid-cooled setup will complicate issues, however that’s true for any PC. The one actual complication is Maingear’s resolution to show the video card sideways, inserting it on the identical aircraft because the motherboard, just under the motherboard. Which may make eradicating the cardboard harder.
You’ll be able to customise and purchase the Maingear F131 now, beginning at $1,600 for a Ryzen configuration, or $1,785 for an Intel setup.